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The Top 5 Maintenance Tips for a Cold Air Intake

You may want to refer to the owner’s manual for specifics, but as with any given component, you can count on certain requirements. Read on to find out which.

The Five Steps

  1. First off, educate yourself about the proper cleaning intervals and the amount of oil you should use. Some manufacturers will include exact specifications, but a good benchmark is every 30,000 miles or so, unless you spend a lot of driving time in extremely dusty areas. Such a lifestyle obviously requires more regular inspections.
  2. Inspect your filter by holding it up to a light source. You shouldn’t be able to see through it or expose any obvious holes when you look from the inside-out. If you notice an air gap, it’s time for a new filter. Or, see if you can make an adjustment to the filter media to restore the original surface area.
  3. Good cleaning technique includes oiling, drying, carefully using compressed air – again, from the inside-out – and bending pleats to remove debris from the filter. The steps may need to be repeated if you’re dealing with an excessive amount of contaminants. Using a nylon bristle brush is OK, but don’t use a metal brush as this could potentially tear the filter media and pleats.
  4. Look over the clamps and tubing to ensure proper routing and prevent rubbing, as things can shift over time. Leave the clamps just loose enough to make minor adjustments to the entire system should the need arise, then systematically tighten each one after satisfactory orientation and fitment/clearance is achieved.
  5. Finally, you can use pre-filters and hydro-shields to increase the service interval and reduce maintenance and potential for hydro-locking (when water gets into the motor and causes engine damage).

What's the Best Brand of Air Intakes?

Or, you can do a vehicle-specific search to find out what kind of power gains you can expect for your year, make and model. You may even want to search for other performance-enhancing parts, like a throttle body spacer and a mass air flow sensor, to get the best results from your cold air intake.

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Product Comparison


K&N 57 Series FIPK Air Intake (Fuel Injection Performance Kit) aFe Cold Air Intakes Airaid Intake System Injen SP Series Cold Air Intake

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From $129.99


From $79.00


From $69.90


From $196.57 /each


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Customer Rating

Price/Value

Ease of Installation

Quality

Appearance

4.50 Average Customer Rating

(3k+)

4.0 4.5 4.5 4.5
4.50 Average Customer Rating

(1k+)

4.0 4.5 4.5 4.5
4.50 Average Customer Rating

(1k+)

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5
5.00 Average Customer Rating

(488)

4.5 4.0 5.0 5.0

Filter Type

Oiled


Oil-Free


Oiled


Oil-Free


Oiled


Oil-Free


Material

Crosslink Nylon


Crosslink Nylon


Crosslink Nylon


Aluminum


Style

Short Ram Intake


Cold Air Intake


Short Ram Intake


Cold Air Intake


Short Ram Intake


Cold Air Intake


Short Ram Intake


Warranty

10-year/100,000-mile warranty


Lifetime Warranty


Lifetime Warranty


Lifetime Warranty


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Cold Air Intakes Customer Reviews

BMW 325i

Appearance
Ease of Installation
Price/Value
Quality

Reviewed by Christian R (Downey, CA Reviewed for a 2002 BMW 3-Series—2008-04-15 15:49:36

The installation on my car was a breeze. much more responsive and a quicker better acceleration. imgaine im only 17 years old and this was a breeze to install. very great :]

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Afe SI with BMW 3

Appearance
Ease of Installation
Price/Value
Quality

Reviewed by Zachary H (Huntington, NY Reviewed for a 2007 BMW 3-Series—2012-05-31 04:13:55

Saw a review that said Girlfriend Approved. Very much agree with that review. Doesn't make your engine ridiculously loud, just tells everyone you're ready to play. Had some trouble installing it, but like everyone said the instructions were extremely lean and had no detail. But after I jammed it on and turned on the engine ... Happy with the purchase.

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Ask & Answer

Asked by Cameron H.

4/10/2012 9:13:22 PM

Real ram air?

Is this system just a cold air intake that they are calling ram air, or is it actually a true ram air setup?

Staff Answer

Answered by Michael K. — 4/11/2012 7:48:31 PM

Hey Cameron, this is a cold air intake system. If by ram air you mean a system that incorporates a hood scoop connected to the intake, this is not that.

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Asked by Warren C.

12/12/2011 8:07:49 AM

Whats included?

Does the air filter come with this kit?

Staff Answer

Answered by Michael K. — 12/13/2011 6:50:41 PM

Hi Warren, yes, the kit includes a high-performace air filter.

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